Day 8

Yet another day in the ocean of isolated days. We are so lucky that sun still keeps shining and this beautiful city keeps showing it´s best sides. And we for sure need that, living these most weird times of our lifetime. Every single sight of light, hope and love is needed now.

It´s very interesting to see how this ”online world” brings new innovations and new ways of connecting. As a small side note, we have been doing a Toastmaster course here for several weeks and obviously also got caught by the lock down. That course is about public speaking, but I´m glad they decided to go ahead with it even if we can´t meet onsite (usually super important ´cause you´re learning about body language etc). Has been truly interesting to see how people use the online tools creatively to engage better, how they can deliver feelings and important messages and love to each other. Unique moments that I will for sure remember for long time.
My speech today was about the importance of the human touch – the ”skin hunger” I wrote about earlier..can´t shout out loud enough how much I already miss a hug from an other person. That´ll be the day!

Let´s carry on with the cornerstones of love. Maybe to reflect a bit yesterdays first topic of self awareness and love. Think I did not emphasize enough the love part in that. Yes it is important to know yourself, but it will only turn into something good, if you truly learn to love yourself, the whole package. Obviously I mean very healthy love relationship, it needs to be an aware type love, where you see yourself through realistic and open eyes, understand the possible weak spots, but can still accept and fall in love with yourself. Wrong type of self love can be complete opposite, truly blinding and destroying

Then the second topic, building the foundation with same values. This one is a wide topic, values of life. Can mean some many things to different people, but guess that´s the whole point. If they are too different, if they mean too different things, slowly but surely the foundation will start collapsing – if it was ever built.
Think about value for equality, not only between men and women but on everything. If the preferences on this are too extreme, it will be very difficult to build solid ground. Or what´s your opinion? Could you see a problem rising in a relationship where the other person thinks women should be paid the same as men. While the other half…well, is just not smart enough to think the same? 🙂
An interesting one in my mind is also the overall value towards other people, the appreciation of good manners and treating people nice. Being kind and gentle. Maybe I have just seen too many examples of people who live in their own world and cant´t treat others nicely, don´t open the door for elderly, always remember to make that nasty comment on someone else etc. If they couple with someone who values manners high, always treats others nice, spreads to good will and kindness etc. most likely the clash will happen very soon.. and this value often is build quite deep inside us so it might be hard to change.
Goes somewhat hand in hand with overall gratitude and appreciation, the ability to be thankful of what you have today. Makes life hard if two value this differently, relates also much to the rhythm of living – being grateful tends to make days peaceful, being annoyed and wanting more tend to make them uptight and restless.
One very important value is also forgiveness, are we able to let things go or do we have the habit to store everything in our minds and hearts and collect dark clouds. That for sure one day will create a storm.
These values, cornerstones of love often tie together quite nicely. Forgiveness is closely related to self love, it requires good communications skills and willingness to communicate, to understand. Also plenty of self confidence to look deeper. Strong people are brave enough to ask questions, understand why something has happened, before making any judgments. Strong enough to walk away if treated badly, but also strong enough to stand still and listen to understand.
Anyway, idea was not to list all the important values, so I´ll pause here. Idea was more to underline that values are – or at least should be – built so deep into us, that changing them might be a high mountain to climb. Instead it´s a matter of being awake and making right decisions. I would like to quote one Finnish media person who has been married for a looong time. He was once asked what is the secret of their long relationship and he answered:
”just make the right choice” 🙂

So love can be super simple 🙂

Now it´s time to dream a little dream about a world where people can hug each other.
Be safe and keep on loving folks.

Day 7

Yet another day. In the ocean of these unforgettable times. Will be interesting to see how long it takes before days really loose their ”meaning” as such.  When will it become just a grey set without any variation.. takes plenty of self control and efficiency to keep a schedule in a day. And another portion of imagination to keep each day interesting and different from the others 🙂  
BUT – even more so this should be a wake up call for all of us. There´s so many of us who are used to the luxury of being alone by choice. When at the same time around us there are thousands of people who have no choice, their life has been like this already before the lock down. Only exception being they don´t have anyone online dialing into all those funny video calls. So please, let´s do not forget after this is over, there still are many many people who would just need that one person to listen to them, asking ”how are you today” and that one hand reaching out to touch.
Before diving into the ocean of love and the first topic of cornerstones of love, I have to highlight one topic that is not so love related. Well, it kind of is..since I´m from Finland and I do love my old home country. And now live in New Zealand that for sure is a veeery easy country to fall in love with. Some interesting comparison between these two similar, yet so different countries:
My dear friend Olivia linked an article where a Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat is writing a daily ”diary” on issues around the world caused by COV.  There was some comparison and analysis on the government leadership style during crisis. We have a bright Finnish brain here in New Zealand, Mr Storbacka, in Auckland University and he has been leading this research work.
Interesting findings how NZ government can make much faster decisions when there are not so many ”sensitive toes to step” as Finland has (SO true, Finland just has created a public sector system that soon will eat the whole country for breakfast, it´s impossible to scope with..).
But they also analysed the leadership style and language used by the Prime Ministers. And how different it is. I also wrote a post about this on Linkedin week ago, since I truly appreciate the leadership style in New Zealand and PM is a great role model.
She is just so humble and close to people, avoid the political jargon, speaks from the heart. People understand and feel secure. Role model of communication and engagement style for many, both at work and in private life. 

But back to the cornerstones and the most important of all, the cornerstone for everything – loving YOURSELF.
That very old phrase from airplane, always true:
You need to use the oxygen mask first yourself to be able to help others.
And that´s exactly how it is in life. And love life. If we´re not in balance with ourselves, if we can´t love and accept ourselves as we are, we will sooner or later get that feeling of being threatened by something or someone and the hell breaks loose. Competition over power starts, the jealousy raises it´s nasty head. The blame game towards the other person begins – why are you doing this, why do you need to go there, who was that person… 
All questions related to the other persons behavior. In reality very often caused by our own insecurity and fears that we haven´t been able to deal with. When we don´t fully trust ourselves, we don´t feel secure in our own skin, it appears as doubts – ”that other person must be better than me” and it often causes also the challenging silence in love, the lack of communication. More insecure person, more difficult it is to speak up and say, ”when you do that I feel bad and I think it is because of my own fear of…”
It´s the first attempt to reach out arms open to your love ones and say ”I feel weak about this, please work this through with me…” Instead too often our mechanism in those moments of fear is attack, animal instinct I guess but rarely works in love..
Very different story if there is a person who has spent enough time analyzing ”who am I, what are my weaknesses, where do I shine, what do I have to offer, what am I missing, what am I afraid of, what do I absolutely love, what makes me happy  etc”. All that also needs to be accepted, not only analyzed. Through full acceptance follows that true self love, the ability to be who you are, play no roles and most importantly in relationships, give the other person the full freedom to be exactly who they are as well. 
Just pay attention to this – people around you that you identify being very self aware, they rarely are extremely demanding towards other people. Simply because they don´t have to, they have realized that changing other people is not their job – people can be helped if they ask yes or if it´s jointly agreed. But demanding changes from selfish reasons, not something balanced individuals ask.
I guess in my dreams that ”soul mates” mean is of course the full balance of all the cornerstones, full understanding of them all. But it really starts from the fact that two people that are fully in balance with themselves meet. It brings that silent harmony into the relationship, both parties trust THEMSELVES enough to understand that my happiness is my own responsibility, it starts from MY acts, not the other persons. Which brings amazing freedom into the relationship – not freedom to go and have other relationships, but freedom to be just there, just the way you want.  There is no need for competition, no need for jealousy, there´s full understanding that ”you are there because I make you feel better than anything or anyone. And I fully understand that when that no longer is the case, it´s your decision to leave. My job is to be who I am and make you feel amazing”. 
With that understanding in place, all the other cornerstones start to build up much more easily. More about those tomorrow. Now it´s time to go and explore the beautiful evening of Auckland. With the right level of social distancing or course.

Be safe and keep on loving folks.